Digging out of debt takes discipline

Many in the country are struggling to keep their head afloat with the financial crisis and Long Islanders aren?t immune to the poor economy. More than four years ago Art Vernon and his wife, of West

News 12 Staff

Mar 5, 2009, 12:29 AM

Updated 5,621 days ago

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Many in the country are struggling to keep their head afloat with the financial crisis and Long Islanders aren?t immune to the poor economy.
More than four years ago Art Vernon and his wife, of West Hempstead, were tens of thousands of dollars in debt. He says one week his wife and him were working full-time jobs, the next week their hours were cut to part time. Soon the bills started to pile up and they were nearly $90,000 in debt.
Vernon finally picked up the phone and called Safeguard Credit Counseling for help. Carolyn McCormack, of Safeguard Credit, says the company receives between 20 to 100 phone calls a day from people in Vernon?s situation.
Credit counselors helped Vernon draw up a realistic budget, which included cutting vacations, lavish dinners and movies. His counselor also helped Vernon negotiate lower rates for his six credit cards. According to Vernon, the rates on his credit cards were so high because he was so far in debt. Eventually, with lots of discipline, Vernon says he finally received a letter this past December saying he finally paid off his debt.
Experts say with discipline, determination and sticking to an action plan, it is possible to get out of debt.
Many on Long Island are also struggling to hold onto their homes. A number of organizations exist to help those at risk of foreclosure. Peter Elkowitz, president of the Long Island Housing Partnership, says his organization is seeing its number of clients grow exponentially. LIHP helps homeowners analyze their financial situations and come up with solutions.
Foreclosure help
HardTimes: LI Survival GuideExperts:Don't lose sleep over weak marketTighteningyour belt during tough timesExperts:No quick fix for economic crisis
Digging Out Of DebtSafeguardCredit CouncilSmart MoneyDiggingOut of Debt
Fighting ForeclosureAmerimodLIHousing Partnership Nassau Housing ServicesCommunityDevelopment Corporation


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